photos courtesy of The Audities Foundation.
Introduced in 1974, the Keyboard Computer was the world's first digitized portable musical keyboard instrument. The advanced technology used in the Allen Organs was incorporated into a portable case, with it's own unique voicing. There were two model manufactured in this series of instruments, which were geared towards the professional musician (The KC-1 and the KC-2). Two of the most unique features of both these instruments were the card reader and the transposer, each being discussed below.
The KC-1 was introduced in 1974 and was available with or without lighted push button voicing stops. The instrument had three audio channels, each output level adjusted by its own expression pedal. Channels one and two were controlled by the voices on the stop panel, while channel three was a special white noise effect The instrument had a 61 note keyboard and was housed in a plywood case covered in black vinyl, similar to the model 300B.
The transposer allowed the user to electronically shift the keyboard a musical fifth up, or a musical seventh down. This feature could be accomplished by using the pitch bender pedal. The card reader feature allowed the user to add four additional musical voices to the instruments twenty-nine fixed voices. This was accomplished by inserting pre programmed tonal cards, available from the factory. This model was discontinued in 1975, when the KC-2 was introduced. The list price of the instrument was $4495.
[written by Tom Emerick, Allen Organ Company]